Endodontic treatments focus on the health of your tooth, especially the pulp and tooth roots. A common endodontic treatment is root canal therapy for when the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed. According to the American Dental Association, it is one of the most commonly performed treatments by dentists in the United States with about 13 million performed in a single year.
Keep reading to see a review of common issues that require endodontic treatment.
Reasons your dentist may recommend endodontic treatment
1. Severe tooth decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues that you will encounter. It is caused by acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth and by the foods you eat. These acids damage the outer protective layer of a tooth, the enamel. The acids will make small holes along the enamel, compromising the integrity of the tooth.
You likely have heard of these holes. They are called cavities. If you do not see a dentist to treat your cavities, they can expand. A common treatment for cavities is dental fillings that seal the tooth and prevent decay. Eventually, the cavities will reach the pulp chamber and encounter the center of the tooth. Once this happens, irritants like bacteria and food can affect the pulp and nerve of the tooth. This causes severe tooth pain and can lead to further infection of the mouth and body. For cases like these, a root canal can be used to remove the pulp, the nerve and seal up the hole.
2. Excessive dental treatments
It is possible to have too much work done on a tooth over some time. All dental treatments put some level of stress on your teeth. When teeth are not given enough time to heal between treatments, you can end up with a damage pulp or tooth nerve. For example, repeatedly drilling around the pulp of a tooth can aggravate the contents of the pulp chamber. Endodontics may be necessary to prevent further damage or reduce pain associated with past dental work.
Endodontics can also be used to deal with an infected tooth. It is often used during the earlier stages of infection before the bacteria make their way down to the tooth root. A tooth infection is no minor issue. If left untreated, the infection makes its way to the roots and eventually into the jawbone. From there, the infection can enter the bloodstream and infect vital organs like the brain and heart. An infection like this can be fatal, so early treatment is the best course of action.
This is a rare condition that occurs when the structure of the tooth begins to dissolve. It is often a response to dental trauma or teeth alignment issues. Resorption rarely leads to pain, and that can make it hard to detect. If caught in its early stages, the tooth can be saved with a root canal.
Are you taking care of your teeth?
Talk to a dentist today if you are unsure about your oral health. You may not need endodontic treatments now, but proper care can prevent future dental emergencies.
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